Backstory and New Opportunity

What reactivity is doing to leaders and parents just isn’t right.

The pressure, overwhelm, anxiety and criticism. The nagging feeling that your role is impossible to do well, never knowing when enough is enough, the unending need coming at you.

But also what is bubbling inside you: assumptions, expectations and beliefs. The thin skin, wondering if you’re actually allowed to be a real human being.

Maybe you’ve resigned yourself that this is just part of the role, so you continue to just try harder and do more of the same. But I assure you, it truly doesn’t have to be this way.

My journey began as a trauma and hospice chaplain. I quickly learned that in order to help people in the worst moments of their life, I had to know what was bubbling under the surface in me: my fears, assumptions, exhaustion, anger. If I didn’t, those things would bubble up and infect my ability to deeply connect. While I was a chaplain I was introduced to a rare theory that helps people see anxiety spread in themselves and groups.

I was immediately hooked and began to integrate this theory into my own life. I was surprised at how often I could walk into high anxiety coming at me, intense pain and grief and still be able to manage my reactivity and be fully present to God and the people in the room. After chaplaincy I went to graduate school where I formally studied Systems Theory along with theology.

As I became a lead pastor, I was surprised to discover how intentional I had to be about anxiety management. Lead Pastoring should not be as traumatic as hospital chaplaincy, but I found myself having to go from knowing a theory to building an actionable path. Knowing the theory wasn’t enough, I needed a rule of life to manage the daily pressure: the unrelenting sermon deadlines, my need to impress, the criticism, the breadth of skill required for the role.

Several years into lead pastoring, I wondered why the love, freedom and peace of Christ that I proclaimed to others was so elusive for myself. I told others God loved them, I struggled to experience God’s love for myself. As I dug deeper into my core beliefs, I discovered how anxiety actually blocks my awareness of God and how anxiety management could open me up to profound encounters with God’s love.

In 2012 I began to teach this path to our church staff and I spent years refining the path. After years of teaching it, I published a book on it. Now people fly me all over the world to teach them and their people.

We are SO GRATEFUL for Steve. His work with our global team and me personally, is phenomenal. Steve was officially declared ‘the best thing that happened in our organization in 2021.’ We could never thank you enough.

Christine Caine, A21, Equip and Empower, Preacher.

With profound depth of insight, humor, and empathy, Steve is a trusted guide for those looking to lead as a “calm presence” in the world. I highly recommend him for your personal life and organization.

Rich Villodas Pastor. Author: The Deeply Formed Life.

The path is called Capable Life. ‘CAP-ABLE’  Calm, Aware, Present, Able.

You can go from reactive and spun up to calm, aware, present and ABLE human in the work place and home place.

It is kind of like the flight attendant speech, ‘first put the oxygen mask on your own face before helping others. It is counter intuitive for those of us in the caring profession. It feels selfish at first. But flight attendants know that you can’t help another person when you’re dead.

Capable Life is the oxygen mask. By learning your anxiety triggers, core false beliefs, noticing anxiety dynamics in groups and more, you can breath deep of the love, freedom and peace that Jesus offers.

You can do it the hard way like I did – intense chaplaincy, a grad degree, two decades of personal study and integration, create a class, refine it for ten years, write a book….

OR you you can let me give you the process right now. Which is what I am going to do.

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